Regulator Proteins or Symphonies of Genes: Statistical Modeling Points Way Toward Unified Theory for DNA Folding

Researchers seek to point a way toward a unified theory for how DNA changes shape when expressing genes. Presenting their work in Biophysics Reviews, the scientists use an approach called statistical mechanics to explore the phenomenon of so-called expression waves of gene regulation.

Scientists Find a Pair of Proteins Control Supply Lines That Feed Cancer Cells

In human cancer cell and mouse studies, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine have found that a set of proteins work in tandem to build supply lines that deliver oxygen and nutrients to tumors, enabling them to survive and grow. The protein twosome, PADI4 and HIF-1, ramp up their activity under low-oxygen conditions that are typically found in a fast-growing tumor, allowing it to build new blood vessels that feed the cancer’s growth.

Scientists repurpose cancer and seizure medications to aid in the fight against COVID-19

Two teams of researchers using the Advanced Photon Source identified existing drugs — one used to treat cancer, the other an anti-seizure medication — that may work as treatments for COVID-19.

Advanced Photon Source helps reveal how antibodies bind a molecule linked to cancer

Researchers have developed antibodies that can bind to phosphohistidine, an unstable molecule that’s linked to cancer. To learn how the two bind together, the team turned to the powerful X-rays at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. These new insights into its structure will help scientists design better antibodies for potential treatments.

CUR Health Sciences Division Announces 2021 NCUR Presentation Awardees

CUR’s Health Sciences Division announces the 2021 recipients of its NCUR Presentation Awards. The awards cover the cost of registration for undergraduates presenting original research at the 2021 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Corals Carefully Organize Proteins to Form Rock-Hard Skeletons

Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who championed the theory of evolution, noted that corals form far-reaching structures, largely made of limestone, that surround tropical islands. He didn’t know how they performed this feat. Now, Rutgers scientists have shown that coral structures consist of a biomineral containing a highly organized organic mix of proteins that resembles what is in our bones. Their study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, shows for the first time that several proteins are organized spatially – a process that’s critical to forming a rock-hard coral skeleton.

More than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Protein 3D Structures Available

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2021) – The 3D structures of more than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins are freely available from the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The data bank reached the milestone this week, with 1,018 proteins as…

Harnessing the Power of Proteins in our Cells to Combat Disease

A lab on UNLV’s campus has been a hub of activity in recent years, playing a significant role in a new realm of drug discovery — one that could potentially provide a solution for patients who have run out of options.

Bringing Bad Proteins Back Into The Fold

DALLAS – Feb. 11, 2021 – A study led by UT Southwestern has identified a mechanism that controls the activity of proteins known as chaperones, which guide proteins to fold into the right shapes. The findings, published online today in Nature Communications, could shed light on hundreds of degenerative and neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s, potentially leading to new treatments for these devastating conditions.

Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

University of Washington researchers developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages to affect cell behavior. Their approach uses near-infrared lasers to trigger chemical adhesion of proteins to scaffolds made from biological polymers like collagen.

How to Identify Heat-Stressed Corals

Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss AI Advances Linked to RCSB Protein Data Bank

New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 3, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on how the bank’s 50 years of data on the 3D biomolecular structures of life and artificial intelligence can lead…

How Did Red Algae Survive in Extreme Environments?

Red algae have persisted in hot springs and surrounding rocks for about 1 billion years. Now, a Rutgers-led team will investigate why these single-celled extremists have thrived in harsh environments – research that could benefit environmental cleanups and the production of biofuels and other products.

Protein Mutations Alter Heart Function, Signaling Pathways in Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Article title: Dilated cardiomyopathy mutations in thin-filament regulatory proteins reduce contractility, suppress systolic Ca2+, and activate NFAT and Akt signaling Authors: Paul Robinson, Alexander J. Sparrow, Suketu Patel, Marta Malinowska, Svetlana N. Reilly, Yin-Hua Zhang, Barbara Casadei, Hugh Watkins, Charles Redwood…

Cell Membrane Proteins Imaged in 3-D

A team of scientists including researchers at the National Synchrotron Light Source II have demonstrated a new technique for imaging proteins in 3-D with nanoscale resolution. Their work, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, enables researchers to identify the precise location of proteins within individual cells, reaching the resolution of the cell membrane and the smallest subcellular organelles.

Evaluating Embryo Quality with Ultrasensitive Protein Detection

Infertility is estimated to affect 9% of reproductive-aged couples globally, and many couples turn to assisted reproductive technology. Selecting embryos with maximum development potential plays a pivotal role in obtaining the highest rate of success in ART treatment.
Researchers can evaluate the quality of an embryo by detecting the content of proteins secreted. In Biomicrofluidics, a method to detect trace proteins secreted by embryos using microfluidic droplets and multicolor fluorescence holds promise to select embryos for ART.

Argonne’s researchers and facilities playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19

Argonne scientists are working around the clock to analyze the virus to find new treatments and cures, predict how it will propagate through the population, and make sure that our supply chains remain intact.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How to Help Free Market Fight Coronavirus

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 25, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on how to help the free market fight the coronavirus. His viewpoint is published in the journal Nature. “Had drug…

Scientists Have Discovered the Origins of the Building Blocks of Life

Rutgers researchers have discovered the origins of the protein structures responsible for metabolism: simple molecules that powered early life on Earth and serve as chemical signals that NASA could use to search for life on other planets. Their study, which predicts what the earliest proteins looked like 3.5 billion to 2.5 billion years ago, is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Early research on existing drug compounds via supercomputing could combat coronavirus

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used Summit, the world’s most powerful and smartest supercomputer, to identify 77 small-molecule drug compounds that might warrant further study in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is responsible for the COVID-19 disease outbreak.

Russian biologist explains recent findings regarding coronavirus structure

MOSCOW (MIPT) — The atomic structure of the novel coronavirus envelope has explained why it is exceptionally contagious. Its structural features make it much easier for the Chinese coronavirus to bind to target receptors, compared with the previously known SARS…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss New Coronavirus Enzyme Structure

New Brunswick, N.J. (Feb. 5, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on the 3D structure of a key enzyme in the new coronavirus that has been made publicly available…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss RNA Discovery

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 29, 2020) – Nearly 30 years after scientists first showed that RNA molecules can act as biological catalysts, researchers at Rutgers have discovered how an important RNA enzyme works in unprecedented detail. The research, led by scientists…

Rutgers Researchers Teach Lessons on Extraterrestrial Life in Local Elementary Schools

Each week, researchers with Rutgers ENIGMA teach astrobiology lessons to children in grades four through eight at McKinley Community School and Greater New Brunswick Charter School. Astrobiology is a relatively new interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand whether life arose elsewhere and whether we can detect it.

Better Biosensor Technology Created for Stem Cells

A Rutgers-led team has created better biosensor technology that may help lead to safe stem cell therapies for treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and other neurological disorders. The technology, which features a unique graphene and gold-based platform and high-tech imaging, monitors the fate of stem cells by detecting genetic material (RNA) involved in turning such cells into brain cells (neurons), according to a study in the journal Nano Letters.

Red Algae Thrive Despite Ancestor’s Massive Loss of Genes

You’d think that losing 25 percent of your genes would be a big problem for survival. But not for red algae, including the seaweed used to wrap sushi. An ancestor of red algae lost about a quarter of its genes roughly one billion years ago, but the algae still became dominant in near-shore coastal areas around the world, according to Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Debashish Bhattacharya, who co-authored a study in the journal Nature Communications.

Moderate to Heavy Drinking During Pregnancy Alters Genes in Newborns, Mothers

Mothers who drink moderate to high levels of alcohol during pregnancy may be changing their babies’ DNA, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Scientists Discover Key Factors in How Some Algae Absorb Solar Energy

Scientists have discovered how diatoms – a type of algae that produces 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen – absorb solar energy for photosynthesis. The Rutgers University-led discovery, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help lead to more efficient and affordable algae-based biofuels and combat climate change from fossil fuel burning.